Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter recently met with people affected by long-term health conditions to discuss their experience of claiming sickness and disability benefits. At the event, Andy also heard from people about the potential impacts of the Government’s proposed changes to the benefit Employment and Support Allowance.
The event, organised by five major health charities (Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, Macmillan Cancer Support, Stroke Association and the Neurological Alliance), gave MPs a chance to hear directly from people affected by long-term health conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), strokes and those with mental health problems.
Research shows that many people living with long-term illnesses face an extra financial burden. Many have to give up work and face increased costs as a result of their illness. This can leave many people struggling financially and cause knock on effects for their health and wellbeing.
The five health charities are warning that the Government’s proposed changes to welfare could result in more people facing such difficulties. If plans go ahead, the amount of money people in the Work Related Activity Group of Employment and Support Allowance receive will be reduced by almost £30 a week for new claimants from April 2017.